The sunshine is finally back and we can’t help but want to be outside enjoying the warmth! But with sun exposure too much of a “good thing” is definitely to be avoided! Over exposure to the sun is proven to cause skin cancer in both dark and fair skinned people. Please always wear sunscreen! Sometimes, our best intentions fail and we end up sunburned after all. The following simple recipes can help relieve the pain of the burn and help to nourish your damaged skin.
If you want to learn more herbal remedies that are useful during the summertime, be sure to register for the upcoming Herbs for Summertime Wellness and First Aide Workshop on June 19th from 5:30-9:00 p.m. at the Elder’s Dining Room.
To register contact:
Traditional Plant Program Coordinator
office # 360-394-8564
Try Vinegar! Vinegar contains acetic acid—one of the components of medications such as Aspirin. It draws the heat from the burn can help ease pain, itching, and inflammation. Any vinegar can be used but apple cider vinegar works the best. Soak a soft cloth in apple cider vinegar, and apply to the sunburned areas, leave on for 3 – 5 minutes. Repeat every 4 hours for a bad burn, but usually after the first time, you feel improvement immediately. Yes, you will smell like vinegar, but the smell will leave with time or with a cool shower or bath. This is what my mom always used on me every summer! IT WORKS!
If you are burned all over a good option is to take a cool bath. You can try a vinegar bath. Add two cups of vinegar to cool bathwater before you get in and soak for 15 minutes.
Oatmeal is another bath option. You can either buy a colloidal oatmeal product, such as Aveeno, or simply grind up a cup of oatmeal in a food processor and add it to your bath and soak for 15 – 20 minutes.
Green tea is a powerful anti-oxidant, and may be used topically or internally as a tea before or after sun exposure. Green tea has been shown to help reduce skin inflammation and redness, protect skin cells, and to assist with the adverse effects of UV radiation exposure. It contains tannic acid, theobromine, and polyphenols – all of which are soothing and healing to sunburned skin. Aside from applying Green tea externally, try drinking the tea (iced or warm) throughout the day to further take advantage of Green tea’s beneficial properties.
Green Tea Compress
To create a compress from Green tea, make an infusion by pouring boiling water over loose-leaf Green Sencha tea leaves and allow the mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes. Once that the infusion has cooled, strain the leaves and retain the liquid. Soak a clean cloth in the liquid, and then place on the sunburned area for 5-10 minutes. This may be done several times a day.
Aloe Vera Gel may be used directly on sunburns for immediate relief of sunburned skin and to shorten healing time. It’s high water content (99.5%) is soothing to the skin. For the most relief keep your Aloe Vera Gel in the refrigerator as this will increase its cooling effect upon the skin. Aloe Vera Gel is very mild and may be applied to the burned area as often as you like. Adding Lavender essential oil will assist with the healing process.
Aloe Vera Skin Relief (makes 4 ounces)
4 oz. Aloe Vera Gel
15 drops Lavender essential oil
10 drops Vitamin E Oil
Mix all ingredients, and apply to the skin as often as desired. Store in refrigerator to increase the cooling effect.
Community Health Facebook Page
The Community Health Program now has a Facebook page:
Once you are there, select "Like" to be subscribed to updates on upcoming events and other information. We hope this option will help keep community members informed. Please share it widely with family and friends!
Using Traditional Food Principles to Guide our Diet
Submitted by Fran Miller, Suquamish Tribe Community Nutritionist
We know that eating a traditional Coast Salish diet of sea food, game, plants, berries and nuts promotes health and can help to prevent chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The ancestors of the Suquamish people were strong and healthy; in fact, they had a longer life expectancy than the first white explorers. In most cultures, as people adopt the traditional western diet that is high in fat and low in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, health suffers.
Historically, the Coast Salish people began to suffer higher rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer with the move to reservation living. In a single generation, fishing, hunting and gathering gave way to commodity foods and store bought foods. Fast food followed soon afterwards.
Today, Americans spend about half of their food dollars in restaurants. Fast food is quick, inexpensive, and high in calories for the amount of money it costs. The price we have paid for the convenience, though, is high. Today one third of American children are overweight or obese and diabetes rates in the United States are at epidemic levels, with rates even higher for Native Americans. Most of us can not go back to a hunting and gathering lifestyle to provide all of our food, but we can use its principles to begin to improve our diets and health. Here are some examples:
• Sea food is still easily accessible, and salmon is one of the best fish to eat for heart health. We can aim to eat salmon and other sea food at least twice a week.
• Game meat is very low in fat. When we purchase meat at the store, we can buy the leanest cuts that we can afford. We can use ground turkey, ground buffalo, or extra lean ground beef. We can also cut back on or avoid heavily processed meats such as bacon, sausage, salami, and bologna. Somehealthier substitutes would include sandwich meats that are at least 95% fat free.
• Most Americans do not eat enough vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Plant foods were very important in the traditional diet. In today’s diet that would translate into eating lots of vegetables, which provide a similar nutrient profile to the wild plants.
• Berries were the most important fruits in the traditional diet. Today we have a large variety of berries and other fruits available to us from the store, and we can still gather local wild berries in the summer for year round use.
• There were not many grains in the traditional diet. Some roots and nuts were dried and pounded into flours; whole grains would be a reasonable substitute. Most Americans eat too many refined and not enough whole grains; a good rule of thumb is that half of your grains each day should be whole grains.
There were no dairy products in the traditional diet, but the diet was high in calcium that was provided by bone soup, oysters and wild greens. Because these are foods that we don’t usually eat today, we have to think about adding good sources of calcium from 1% or skim milk, low fat yogurt or cheese. Fortified soy or rice milk is a good substitute for people who can’t tolerate cow’s milk.
Michael Pollan, who has written several books about the American food industry and its effects on our health, gives us this simple food rule to guide our thinking about today’s diet: “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant (factory), don’t.”
Nutrition a Pressing Concern for Native Americans
Nutrition a Pressing Concern for Native Americans, Part III
Diabetes: Not a Death Sentence
by Gretchen Goetz
Editor's Note: This article is the second in a three-part series about health issues linked to nutritional problems in American Indian communities. The final installment will be in next month’s newsletter.
Even the best nutrition education is likely to fall flat without the opportunity to put it into practice. "You can teach people, but unless you change the environment it's very difficult for people to actually use what you've taught them," explains Fran Miller, community nutritionist for the Suquamish Tribe of Port Madison, WA.
This means making nutritious foods more available and eliminating opportunities to choose fatty, nutritionally empty options.
Some tribes have started by cutting out sugary beverages at community events. The S'Klallam tribe of Jamestown, WA took a drastic step toward building a healthy environment in 2008 when it requested that the new, large convenience store at its 7 Cedars Casino not have a deep fryer in-store.
"They didn't want to have the fried foods," explains Randy Lemon, the Longhouse Market and Deli's General Manager. "They wanted something healthier and they were very receptive to having the produce." Instead of fried deli offerings, "A lot of our food is oven-baked," he says. "It's a specific kind of oven that gives food a crunchy texture like what you'd get out of a grease fryer but they are not cooked thatway."
Lemon says that coming up with non-fried alternatives was easy after the request was made. One item his store introduced was panini sandwiches. This option is an example of how changing what's offered can change people's preferences.
"[The paninis] were not very popular at first," he says, but "that's probably one of our biggest sellers now."
In addition to cutting fried foods from its menu, the store offers a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including apples, bananas, lettuce, tomatoes and other staple produce.
The Port Gamble S'Klallam tribe recently finished a waterfront walkway that DeWilde hopes will serve as a path to combatting obesity.
"I tell them just start walking," she says. "Just walk from here to the [convenience store] and then back. "They're starting," she notes, adding that she thinks more people will take to the path as the weather gets warmer.
Diabetes: Not a Death Sentence
With 30 percent of the AI/AN population now suffering from pre-diabetes and over 16 percent diagnosed with the disease, diabetes can seem like an inevitability for many in the population, especially as it is affecting people at a younger and younger age. Between 1994 and 2004, diabetes spiked by 68 percent among Native American youths ages 15-19. "When you have both parents and grandparents with diabetes, it's a matter of when not if," says Harjo, who herself has diabetes. "It's a Damocles sword. You can't escape it," she says, describing the feeling among some Native Americans that diabetes is a fate rather than a possibility.
But today this attitude is slowly changing. Extraordinarily high diabetes rates among some tribes has called attention to the problem and the need for change, she says.
One key to convincing people that change is possible is helping them understand that diabetes doesn't have to be a death sentence, says DeWilde. It's important to remind Native Americans that they can delay the negative effects of the disease after diagnosis, or even avoid its onset altogether, if they adopt a healthy lifestyle, she says.
"When people come to my office because they were just diagnosed, they're anxious," she says. "They're like, 'What do I eat? Can I eat anything? Do I need to change my diet completely?'
I tell them they can decide that if they want to live a healthy life, there are steps they can take to make sure they don't have complications," she says. DeWilde describes a young patient who was recently diagnosed with diabetes and came to her, nervous about what this meant. "Before she left she was at ease because she had confidence that with diet and exercise she could control her blood sugar," DeWilde explains.
And for those who don't yet have diabetes but are at risk for it, DeWilde says it's important to realize that you can put the disease off, and by doing so extend your life.
"Obviously we can't help it if we have the genes," she says. "But if we're destined to have it, it's better to have it at age 60 instead of age 45. So if we can delay the onset as long as possible, then we have succeeded."
Miller agrees, noting that at-risk Native Americans shouldn't just take for granted the fact that they'll get diabetes.
"We're really trying to educate people that it's not inevitable. You can do something about it." Slowly but surely, nutritionists like DeWilde and Miller, along with tribal leaders, are working to get this message across.
Poor dietary habits have become deeply engrained since the move to reservations, and transitioning back to healthier foods is a slow process. Says Harjo, "It's a lot of bad history to overcome." But it's a change many are dedicated to seeing through.
"I still think we have quite a bit of work to do," says DeWilde. "We're at the infancy of this whole battle with diabetes and obesity, but it's a smaller community and word spreads rather quickly, so it's my hope that we could just step it up a notch, especially with the children."
Kid Friendly Fruit & Vegetable Recipes
Submitted by Fran Miller, Suquamish Tribe Community Nutritionist
Kids love to help in the kitchen, and they love to eat the food that they have helped prepare. The recipes below are all healthy and feature fruits or vegetables in a rainbow of colors. They are simple enough for preschoolers to help with, or for older children to make on their own with a bit of supervision. Have fun in the kitchen with your child this month!
Bookworm Apple Bark
Grab your books and this crunchy, sweet breakfast treat as you dash off to school.
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2½ tablespoons raisins
1½ tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries
Instructions: Cut apple into four quar-ters, starting at the stem. Remove the core by cutting away to leave a flat surface on the apple quarter. Be careful not to cut too much of the edible portion of the apple away. Drop and slightly spread the peanut butter on apple quarters. Mix together the raisins and dried cranberries then sprinkle on peanut butter.
Banana in a Blanket
1 (6 inch) whole wheat tortilla
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 medium banana
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon crunchy, nutty nugget cereal
Instructions: Lay tortilla on a plate. Spread peanut butter evenly on the tortilla. Sprinkle cereal over peanut butter.
Peel and place banana on the tortilla and roll the tortilla. Drizzle maple syrup or honey on top.
Optional: garnish with more cereal on top.
Crazy, Curly Broccoli Bake
1½ cups whole wheat corkscrew pasta, dry
3 cups broccoli, frozen, chopped
1 10.5-oz.can low-fat cream of broc-coli soup, condensed
½ cup low fat milk
2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350F.
Cook pasta according to package di-rections. Place frozen broccoli in large microwave safe and oven proof dish and cook for 2 minutes on HIGH. Coarsely chop cooked broccoli. Mix soup with milk, and add to chopped broccoli.
Add cooked pasta and mix. Top with bread crumbs and seasoning blend. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
T-Rex Tortilla Pizza
2 seconds butter-flavored cooking oil spray
1 (6 inch) flour tortilla
1½ tablespoons mild salsa
½ cup frozen yellow corn, cooked
1½ tablespoons cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 tablespoon cheddar cheese, shredded
½ teaspoon dried chives
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400F.
Cook corn according to package in-structions. Spray cookie sheet with cooking oil. Place tortilla
on oiled sheet. Top with chicken, cooked corn, cheese, chives, and salsa. Bake for 10 minutes.
Cut in quarters and serve.
Recipes are adapted from www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org